Our most hectic week of the year started with my husband's office party. He likes to give everyone a treat before the hard work begins in earnest – and believe me it's hard. No sympathy from me if you start complaining about working at Christmas.
Not that the party was much of a treat for one of the elves, Bjorn, who got so drunk on my husband's damson gin that he started weeping, then repeatedly tugged on my husband's beard believing it to be false. I'd be the first to know if it was false, and actually, if only it were! I'd have saved myself a lot of chafing down the years. I've never much liked Bjorn, by the way. He has no top lip. But my hubby says he's a decent grafter. When he's sober.
I helped my husband get the sleigh out of the garage. That's always our job on 22 December, because sometimes there are maintenance issues that have to be dealt with, and frankly I'm better at that sort of thing than he is. He's a lovely fellow but hopeless with his hands. Tuesday was also the day he looked out of the window and said, "It looks like rain, dear". He says it every year. It rarely makes me laugh.
It's all very well my husband sorting out Christmas presents for the world's kiddies, but he leaves his own family's presents to me, and his Auntie Matilda is the very devil to buy for. On Wednesday I finished knitting a cardigan for her, but she's a size 16 and that's a lot of wool. I'm not convinced it will fit her, either. My husband's family are all on the big-boned side, and of course he's the biggest of the lot. I keep trying to put him on a low-cholesterol diet but he says it will ruin his image. Pardon my French, but bollocks to his image. It's no fun sharing a narrow pine bed with him.
Christmas Eve. My hubby and his elves have been working all year with this day in mind, and I must say they have the organisation down to a fine art. Of course, they're helped by the fact that presents have got smaller. The iPod in particular was a godsend. Anyway, I waved them off at dawn and didn't see them until dawn the next day. The last thing he said to me was "did you get a present for cousin Rasmus?" Honestly. Next year I'm going to leave his family to him.
Christmas Day. My husband slept almost the entire day, waking up for five minutes to tell me that one of the reindeer had been off with swine flu so the sleigh kept listing to the left. But by the evening he was up and about and we had a lovely long cuddle. It's my favourite time of the whole year, finally getting him to myself.
Mrs Claus was talking to Brian Viner